Crow, Eating

Duy Quang Mai

Walking through the harbor, I clutch my hands

midair and circle

around those flying beetles. Their blue

of blood, purpled under the light’s rust.

A friend I just met says,

You don’t have to say sorry all the time —

His hands blur the 8A.M. mist apart. I mean, okay,

listen — everything is fine, you know?

Once, I wrote an anecdote about a full stop,

a colon and a comma. In a house built by sentences

that lies on a dawn-blue sea,

the story starts with the full stop breaking

the window-panes apart. The colon tries to explain

to the comma but the comma

doesn’t want to listen. The comma replies, Sorry, I don't want —

I don’t know anymore. I just don’t know anymore.

I guess I failed my own language then.

A part of me was parching into something

I didn’t even recognize. When somebody said,

I want to be catastrophic —

I think I understand whoever they are, really. The air continues

beating against sea-water and leaving its

teeth-marks. A crow wings

then lands on a fast-food restaurant’s roof

right next to us. Looking at the animal,

I suddenly want to walk towards

the restaurant. Its thick grease of over-fried chips

and burgers with too many sesame seeds.

Those seeds that look like eyes, ready

to lurch inside one’s stomach and stay forever there.

I suddenly want to stay forever here, too.

I suddenly want to take the crow

into my mouth and feel its rot-black feathers

prickling my arms. My June-cold skin

against its beak.


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